Monday, April 14, 2008

UK Earned Value Conference announced

For another opportunity to hear my thoughts on using Earned Value analysis within agile develop- ment processes, check out this conference in London in June. My presentation is on the Wednesday (11th June) entitled Applying Earned Value in Agile Projects. I'll be reporting on the work to integrate EV analysis into the xProcess project-process improvement environment, highlighting essential modifications that make it possible to apply EV within agile projects.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sample project revisited

The last time we looked at progress on the blog's sample xProcess project we were looking at the way that project velocity measured simply as "points per sprint" can vary significantly (Calculating team velocity, 24.02.08). If we can gather accurate data about team availability and overhead activity, using a simple measure of productivity produces much better forecasts. Here's the burndown chart as last seen on 24th February.

This sprint completed the target 69 points although as can be seen by the slightly changed positions of the steps on the burndown, some individual tasks completed on different days to the forecast.

The following sprint also completed 77 points, again showing the problem of "yesterday's weather" forecasting, albeit within a reasonably acceptable 10% margin of error. However the productivity measure is much more stable, only varying from 0.91 to 0.90.

Here's the state of the current sprint. In this case we're forecasting 64 points to be completed.

To follow through a series of articles on Scrum in xProcess start with this article on "Using the pre-defined Scrum process".

Monday, April 07, 2008

Converting Eclipse RCP applications to Web apps

We're exploring a new technology called the Rich AJAX Platform (RAP) at present which converts Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) applications into AJAX-enabled Web applications. It looks very interesting. For those of you interested to find out more here's a link to a useful webinar...

Since xProcess is an Eclipse RCP application you might gues the reason for my interest. The main advantage of this technology is the ability to share the same Java code base for the RCP and web applications.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Whitepapers available for download

A number of whitepapers relating to process modelling and agile development are now available for download via the xProcess Europe web site. These include:
The last of these is a report into the BT experience of transforming a traditional CMMI-oriented culture with the adoption of agile techniques. This paper was published in 2005 and since that time more experience papers relating to the cross-over between software engineering focused organisations and the agile community have appeared. It remains though a gulf that is only rarely bridged by companies and communities - generally people prefer to stay one side or the other. I heard recently of a major bank that had implemented a major new project management methodology, standardising the approach for all its IT projects with the exception of - wait for it - agile projects! Surely it behoves us to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each other's approaches rather than merely excluding whole classes of projects. On the other hand I expect major gains to be made in the next few years by organisations who look to embrace both the lessons of agile methods and the best software engineering practices that have evolved over the lifetime of the discipline's existence. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis: it's a good pattern for progress.